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Thread: Refilling HP smart cartridges - The Answer!
picon face BY : Russell McMahon email (remove spam text)

> I got into conversation with a customer and the owner of the local
> printer shop yesterday. Both were frustrated by HP's new smart
> printer cartridges (eg HP6578) that cannot be refilled. Somehow
> the printer knows that it's been refilled and will not print. You have
> to buy a new cartridge, at a price significantly more than a refilled
> one. I've had a quick look around the web this morning and found
> that people are aware of the "problem" but no sign of an easy hack
> to get around it. Any suggestions or info ? My guess is perhaps a
> float of some kind that locks into a position when the ink runs out
> and connects/disconnects a wire that the printer needs


I CAN help here.
I thought Jinx's reference was to a specific printer and only subsequently
realised it was to a HP cartridge.
This is one of the types used in the HP G85 that I use.

The printer has a built in "damaging mechanism" that destroys the contacts
when the cartridge is removed so that it is no longer electrically useable.
There IS a way around this but it has to be done from the start.

CALIDAD make ink refills. These are sold at Dick Smith stores in NZ.
They include detailed directions for each type of printer and refill
instructions are customised accordingly.

The refill for these particular cartridges includes a patented anti-HP tool.
It consists of a simple piece of thin plastic (Mylar?) which is as wide as
the cartridge and slightly taller.  BEFORE you remove the cartridge for the
first time you undo the latch and slide the plastic down behind the
cartridge.This stops the damaging mechanism getting at the cartridge. After
refilling you MUST have the plastic in place as you reinsert the cartridge.
(Actually it may be that you only need it on removal but they say do it both
ways and its easy so I do).

This system works, but not forever.
I refilled one cartridge about 5 times (+/1 1 ? )before it stopped working.
As the refill cost is far far lower than the cartridge cost the wasted ink
from the final refill is still acceptable. The enthused may remove the ink
and use it in another cartridge :-).

CALIDAD provide quaint circular 3 piece pack that breaks into  3 separate
bottles. The provided filling needles and bottle seals are low cost and leak
badly and are not overly easy to use. Using 4 standard medical syringes
instead (3 colours and black) is FAR easier and less messy.

I inspected the non-functional cartridge briefly and couldn't see where the
damage was. Some time when I have more time than sense I may go back and see
if I can locate the damage mechanism and damaged contacts and see if the
cartridge can be easily repaired by raising the contact surfaces with eg
conductive epoxy blobs or similar.

Shame on you HP! What started as a company making superb world beating
products has largely degenerated into just another mass market maker of
commodity products with after market rip-off pricing for consumables. The
results are still superb and leading edge but the true intended cost of
ownership is iniquitous. I make any prospective HP owners aware of this
scurrilous practice - by all means buy HP if you like the product but be
aware of the true cost of ownership (and potential ways of reducing it).

Note that the printer continues to claim that the cartridge is empty, even
after a refill, but allows you to continue to use the "empty" cartridge.

     Russell McMahon

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